Dotdash Meredith shakeup is about magazines’ digital future, CEO says

Two months after Dotdash acquired venerable Des Moines magazine publisher Meredith Corp., the shakeup is beginning.

Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel told employees Wednesday morning that the company will end the print editions of six of the former company’s magazines: EatingWell, Entertainment Weekly, Health, InStyle, Parents and People en Español.

The move, which resulted in 200 layoffs, is the first of the changes Vogel promised after his company, New York-based digital publisher Dotdash, bought Meredith for $2.7 billion. When the companies announced the merger in October, Vogel explained that the new business would blend Dotdash’s approach, geared to online searches, with legacy Meredith’s decades-old household names, such as Better Homes and Gardens.

“Buying Meredith was about buying brands, not magazines or websites,” Vogel wrote in his email to employees. “It is not news to anyone that there has been a pronounced shift in readership and advertising from print to digital, and as a result, for a few important brands, print is no longer serving the brand’s core purpose.”

Company spokesperson Erica Jensen told the Des Moines Register in an email that most job cuts occurred in the company’s New York offices. She said Dotdash Meredith laid off “roughly 3% of our local Des Moines workforce.” With about 870 employees in Des Moines as of November, the cuts would equate to about 26 local jobs.

Neil Vogel, the CEO of Dotdash Meredith, is shown at the company's Des Moines offices, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

“These employees have helped create some of the best media brands in the world,” Jensen said. “We thank them for their years of dedication and are committed to helping them make a smooth transition. Dotdash Meredith remains committed to and invested in the Des Moines community as well as the City as a key operational hub as we continue to grow.”

More: As new CEO of Dotdash Meredith, Neil Vogel trusts ‘The Process,’ promises ‘changing and changing and changing’